78 – Gay Alcorn


Gay Alcorn has been a journalist for over 25 years. She’s been a Fairfax Washington correspondent, edited The Sunday Age, won three Walkley Awards and is now the Melbourne editor for Guardian Australia.

I wanted to talk with Gay about a whole many things (we began by talking about this week’s 4Corners report on the refugee children of Nauru and the roles and biases of journalism), but the bulk of our chat became focussed on the notion of “political correctness”: the nature of our public discourse, section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, identity politics and cultural appropriation.

Gay describes herself as a progressive person but is a staunch advocate of the freedom of speech and has concerns about the way we go about talking with each other. Is it now longer possible for us to “reasonably disagree”?

This piece by Gay on PC is the basic starting point for our chat, I’d recommend reading that first before listening here. We also got on to Lionel Shriver’s speech at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival and the ensuing furore; this will also be the focus of next week’s episode with Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

Boundless Plains To Share at Belvoir Theatre in January 2017

The World Keeps Happening is being filmed for Stan at the Comedy Theatre on Saturday December 3rd; details on comedy.com.au


Gay’s writing at Guardian Australia

The Media’s Moment of Truth by Frank Bruni

Hunt For The Radical Centre: Confronting Welfare Dependency by Noel Pearson 

The Pacific Solution’s brutal fact: we need it by Jonathan Holmes

Those fighting offshore detention don’t need all the answers by me

Section 18C Explainer: What is it, and why do some politicians want it changed? by Luke McNamara

We need to talk about cultural appropriation: why Lionel Shriver’s speech touched a nerve by Stephanie Convery

Cause of the Week: Guardian Australia (theguardian.com/au), Oxfam Australia (oxfam.org.au)

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77 – Shen Narayanasamy


TIME TO MEET ANOTHER HERO, EVERYONE! Shen Narayanasamy is the Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp!. She’s an outspoken activist for refugee and migrant rights who is seriously shaking shit up at the moment and she was nice enough to explain to me why (and how) she’s doing it.

From her Di Gribble address on “The Great Immigration Con” to taking on the private companies that are complicit in human rights abuses through the operation of offshore detention centres to the task of defeating the philosophy behind the “detention regime” in its totality, I reckon this is a really illuminating and (mildly) hopeful discussion.

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

Walk Together 2016 is happening THIS SATURDAY October 22nd

Trailer for Netflix’s 13th


ABC’s Q&A: Australia’s Sovereign Borders

Article: Burning The Stakeholders by Chloe Hooper

Article: Lunch with lawyer and asylum seeker advocate Shen Narayanasamy

Article: A solution to our refugee criss by Robert Manne, Tim Costello, Frank Brennan & John Menadue

GetUp!’s #BringThemHere campaign

Pathways to Protection: A human rights-based approach to the flight of asylum seekers by sea by the Australian Human Rights Commission

Cause of the Week: No Business In Abuse (nobusinessinabuse.org)

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76 – James Mathison


He used to co-host Australian Idol but this year James Mathison ran against former prime minister Tony Abbott for the federal seat of Waringah as an independent.

In this chat James explains why he decided to run, his frustrations with the current political deadlock in Australia, the limitations of election campaigns and his predictions of a new progressive movement on the horizon.

Plus he shamelessly advertises Coke.

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

Comedy 4 Karma in Daylesford, Saturday October 15th

I’ll be appearing in season 2 of SBS’s First Contact in November

Walk Together 2016 is happening on Saturday October 22nd

#OurBrothersOurSisters on raisely.com

Me on Guardian’s Token podcast

Me on Brendon Burns’ Dumb White Guy podcast, Part 1 // Part 2



This week’s episode of Q&A

Article: CEOs bank on bonuses as average Australian worker left to flounder

Article: We’re two-faced about ‘wasting’ money on welfare

Article: James Mathison wants to create a new progressive political movement to target the far right 

Article: Thoughts on Junket 2016

Article: Leaked UNHCR report – Manus Island’s world’s worst

Cause of the Week: Barnados (barnados.org.au)

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75 – Brendan Busch


22-year-old student Brendan Busch is angry and frustrated about Australian racism and denial, particularly in relation to First Nations peoples.

He’s spoken out against Andrew Bolt receiving a platform at the 2016 Festival of Dangerous Ideas and garnered some media attention last month when he offered to give away his Falls Festival ticket to anyone who could prove they had convinced radio station triple j to change the date of their massive annual song countdown, the Hottest 100, from “Australia Day” on January 26th.

Here Brendan (eloquently) explains his thinking and the ideas behind the #changethedate movement, reacts to the subsequent response from triple j and the public and discusses the murky distinctions between the expression of “challenging views” and hate speech, holding our public institutions to account and how we balance the importance of calling out racism with the goal of actually changing people’s minds.

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

Comedy 4 Karma in Daylesford, Saturday October 15th

Brendan’s letter in Independent Australia: An Open Letter to Creators of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Footage of Andrew Bolt’s session at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Article: triple j Hottest 100 Man Starts Competition to Change The Date

Article: Briggs Reckons triple j Should Change The Hottest 100 Date 

triple j statement: triple j’s Hottest 100 is staying on January 26…for now. And here’s why. 

January 26th by A.B. Original on YouTube

Hack Live: Aussie Patriots

change.org petition: triple j, change the date of the Hottest 100 

Article: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard To Talk To White People About Racism 


Cause of the Week: Clinton’s Walk For Justice (clintonswalkforjustice.org), on StartSomeGood, on FB

Direct download         iTunes         libsyn

74 – Josie Long


Comedian Josie Long makes me feel better about the world. She is a ball of delightful, charming and passionate energy whose comedy is hilarious and socially conscious and life-affirming.

In this chat, recorded backstage at the lovely Soho Theatre, Josie and I chat about how she became more politically active, the trickiness of “helping” in the right way, the UK Labour leadership, austerity, art, privilege and voting for what you believe in.

Plus a few Kurt Vonnegut quotes for good measure.

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

The Little Dum Dum Club LIVE in Adelaide



Hope In The Dark by Rebecca Solnit

Hack Live: Aussie Patriots

Cause of the Week: Arts Emergency (arts-emergency.org)

Direct download       iTunes       libsyn

73 – Johann Hari


Backstage at the Soho Theatre I got to sit down with journalist Johann Hari to discuss how the media corrupts our public debate, Australian television and his powerful book, Chasing the Scream: The First & Last Days of the Drug War.

What is addiction? Why is the drug war still continuing? What is it costing us? Is there a better way?   

Article: Half of all Australians want to ban Muslim immigration, says poll

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

Andrew Denton’s podcast series for the Wheeler Centre, Better Off Dead




Johann’s TED Talk: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong 

In A Nutshell: Addiction

A Small Book About Drugs by Lisa Pryor

Cause of the Week: Unharm (unharm.org)

Direct download          iTunes        libsyn

72 – Nish Kumar


Finally! An actual new ep!

And what an ep it is. Comedian, writer and broadcaster Nish Kumar hosts topical comedy show Newsjack on the BBC and has been twice nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award. He writes very smart, politically charged comedy and his laugh is glorious to behold.

Here Nish and I discuss the current “spicy meatball” of a political period the UK is experiencing. From the concept of “right-wing comedy” to post-Brexit xenophobia to Jeremy Corbyn to Jo Cox to Trump to Hanson, this has got everything you’ve been craving.

The World Keeps Happening at the Soho Theatre

Campaign for Australian Aid’s Comedy Gala Who The Bloody Hell Are We?

Boundless Plains To Share at the Belvoir Theatre, January 2017

Article: Why triple j moving the Hottest 100 could reset the convo around Australia Day by Chloe Sargeant



Nish’s 2016 tour dates

Newsjack on BBC Radio 4 Extra

Article: Brexit: a disaster decades in the making by Gary Younge

Fences: A Brexit Diary by Zadie Smith

Article: No one told me to go home for 16 years then we voted for Brexit by Nish Kumar

Video: What can a satirist do with our post-truth politics? by Nish Kumar

Cause of the Week: We Love Immigration: A Comedy Night for Migrant Rights Network, Help Refugees UK (helprefugees.org.uk)

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71 – This Podcast Still Exists


Just a small message to say that this podcast is still happening and everything, I just got distracted and tired and drunk at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sorry lol.

New episodes coming soon!

The World Keeps Happening is at London’s Soho Theatre from September 12th

Me on Something Wonky

Campaign for Australian Aid’s Comedy Gala Who The Bloody Hell Are We?

Thank youse.

Direct download       iTunes       libsyn

70 – David Manne


In a week of Sonia Kruger and Pauline Hanson nonsense, let’s talk to someone who’s actually doing something GOOD for immigrants and refugees and people of colour.

David Manne is a human rights lawyer and the Executive Director of Refugee Legal (formerly the Refugee Immigration Legal Centre or RILC). He’s passionate about helping people who ask our country for – and are deserving of – legal protection.

David gave me the lowdown on the Australian refugee crisis as he sees it: where we’re at, what laws we’re breaking, just how generous we are and what should (and can) happen next – an evacuation of people languishing in our offshore detention centres.

You can catch me at the Splendour In The Grass Comedy Club

Comedy Central’s Roast Battle @ JFL 2016

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Five facts to fight Sonia Kruger’s fear of Muslims by Jamila Rizvi




Human Rights with Philip Ruddock – The Wheeler Centre’s Fifth Estate Podcast

Cause of the Week: Refugee Legal (rilc.org.au)

Direct download        iTunes         libsyn

69 – Alain de Botton


It’s episode 69 so let’s talk about LOVE.

Writer and philosopher Alain de Botton is in the country to promote his (brilliant) new book The Course of Love: an exploration of the confusing ideas romanticism serves up for us. He thinks love is a serious matter indeed and one worth examining closely, and in this chat we talk about its effects, its position in our hard-wiring and its many forms.

Also, in the wake of Brexit and Trump, Alain reflects on how emotional intelligence might better inform our public debate.

You can catch me at the Splendour In The Grass Comedy Club

The World Keeps Happening at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Article: “Classwashing” Australia’s racism problem won’t make it disappear by Ruby Hamad



The Course of Love

Video: In Praise of Short-Term Love

Cause of the Week: The School of Life (schooloflife.comSydney, Melbourne)

Direct download      iTunes       libsyn